Thodoros Kariotis: Negotiation for the division of the Greek EEZ – Along with Merkel and Trump

Negotiation for the division of the Greek EEZ - Together with Merkel and Trump, Theodoros Kariotis

My great teacher Andreas Papandreou once told me “always read the footnotes of Americans in their texts”. I remembered him reading a text I can not publish. But living in Washington for almost half a century, I feel that the Americans are warming up their engines to resolve the Greek-Turkish dispute.

I do not know if Trump is in agreement with Merkel, but I know that they both want a Greek-Turkish dialogue. The Greek word “dialogue” has gained worldwide fame since ancient times and plays a key role in many global differences. The dialogue between Greece and Turkey, which is being prepared to begin before the US presidential elections, will be decisive for the future of Greece.

The Americans believe that The Hague cannot resolve the Greek-Turkish dispute, based on the precedent created by China’s behavior. Since the 1960s, they have been promoting the idea of co-exploiting, or rather co-managing, the energy resources of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Americans, after World War II, knew the value of hydrocarbons and had begun secret research in the Eastern Mediterranean to locate the region’s vast mineral wealth.

What Americans want

From 1922 the Turks considered that they had large shores, but did not have a large sea and after 1982 they realized that their sea was even more limited. Thus began a dangerous rhetorical war, with two “hot” exceptions (1987 and 1996), but from 2018 they put forward further demands outside international law through their “Blue Homeland” doctrine, which will surely continue in the future.

Americans have known since the 1960s, when Georgios Papandreou was prime minister of Greece, that the Turkish sea has no hydrocarbons. In 1984, a secret CIA report that analyzed all the issues of the Greek-Turkish dispute described a very important and critical finding on the issue of hydrocarbons in the Aegean: “There are no significant amounts of hydrocarbons in the Aegean Sea.”

Negotiation for the division of the Greek EEZ - Along with Merkel and Trump

Map of possible hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean.

From this map we see that the Aegean Archipelago has no hydrocarbons and that is why Turkey has turned its attention to the Eastern Mediterranean. So, for a long time now, the Americans have wanted to help Turkey secure some of hydrocarbons from the Greek EEZ!

It is worth reminding Trump that America, which is only 90 miles from Cuba, did not dare to claim that Cuba, because it is an island, does not have full rights to its EEZ. He even delimited the EEZ between the two states, using the method of “equidistance”, that is, the method that the Turks hate so much.

The EU is absent

Here and now it will be seen in practice how philhellenic President Macron is, or how much he serves French interests. The time has come for the EU to intervene, because the EEZs of Greece and Cyprus are at the same time the EEZs of the EU, which is not doing enough by just protesting against Turkey’s expansionist tendencies. The time has come for Europe to order Greece to declare its EEZ and to delimit it with Cyprus, its other member state.

Brussels must also inform Turkey that any aggressive action against the European EEZ in the Mediterranean will have serious consequences for it. Of course, the EU constantly gives instructions to its Member States on various economic, political and social issues, but it seems that the Member States have only obligations, not rights.

A document from the European Commission entitled “The EU and international ocean governance” states that the EU has the largest EEZ in the world. Its size reaches 20 million square kilometers, ie its seas are 380% larger than its territory. But the most important element of this document is the map that follows.

This revealing map shows the EEZs of all EU countries and where, not only is the Greek EEZ clearly defined, but it is confirmed that Greece has a maritime border with Cyprus. Macron, Merkel and the leaders of the other 23 member states must use the European EEZ as a weapon against Turkey’s outrageous demands in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Negotiation for the division of the Greek EEZ - Along with Merkel and Trump

This analysis may be reminiscent of a summer nightmare, but Greece must find a way to avoid negotiating with Turkey until January 2021, when the White House will have a new occupant. If Mitsotakis negotiates with Erdogan, while Trump is still in the White House, Greece will suffer great damage! Trump wants to give Erdogan land and water (which is a phrase used by Herodotus in describing what the Persians requested of the lands they captured, meaning unconditional surrender) . To be precise, to give our land and our water.

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